To me, the best part of any event is the staging. I know I should really love the part where I get to talk to people and make the sales, but if I'm being honest, the talking and selling part stresses me out a bit. Well, more than a bit.
I learned a lot from doing my first author event, and most of it was not about how to decorate a tent. I think I got that--judging by all the positive comments. And that did not surprise me since my one and only true talent is being clever, which you would know if you read my book.
Yes, I can shop the house and come up with curtains, tablecloths, old chairs, a vintage chalkboard, and some pillows. Collecting stuff, just like collecting family memories, comes easily to me. What has eluded me over my almost 60 years is the ability to collect moments of acceptance that could translate into confidence. I'm still working on that. Yes, even at my age, I have not given up the dream of one day being confident in myself, my work, and my calling.
If only it was as easy as taking apart some skirts and making a valance. If only it was as easy as wrapping up some books in old maps. If only.
Why is it that I can gather all the great reviews and hang them on a bed spring for all to see, but I cannot hang them on my heart? Why is it so hard to believe that God believes in me and has ordained my message for such a time as this?
Why can't I believe that I am lovely or that I have written lovely words?
I don't really know the answers to those questions. What I do know is that I will continue to take the next step and the next one and the next one, cherishing the positive words being spoken into my life, believing that there will be a moment when they will, in fact, tip the scale.
On the purely practical side, here is what I did right:
- tent decorating
- fresh flowers
- pre-wrapped, signed books (sold 10 of them)
- had my daughter's art booth next to mine for moral support and company
- had a friend sit and chat (Thank you, Edie@lifeingrace!)
- dressed to communicate my style of writing
Here's what I need to do better with next time:
- have a larger sign outside the tent
- have an opening line to get people talking
- have photos taken of me talking to visitors
- let my in-person personality reflect my writing
- believe that my work is worth $10 (really? worth two cups of coffee? seems easy enough!)